Miss Bala DVD
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Directed by Gerardo Naranjo
Produced in 2011
Main Language - Spanish with English subtitles
Countries & Regions - South American Film
Gabriel Heads, Irene Azuela, James Russo, Miguel Couturier, Noe Hernandez, Stephanie Sigman
A strong Mexican thriller about an aspiring beauty queen forced into the criminal underworld. There are no easy solutions here, but it's hard to look away, says Milo Wakelin.
Laura Guerrero (Stephanie Sigman) has a dream: to 'represent the beautiful women of my state' in the Miss Bala contest. But beauty pageants can be a ruthless business, even more so when they become entangled in the drugs trade. Based on the true story of Laura Zúñiga, a model and beauty queen arrested in connection with trafficking, Gerardo Naranjo’s unrelenting drama follows Laura’s waking nightmare as she is unwittingly drawn into Mexico’s war on drugs, first as an innocent bystander, then as a reluctant participant.
Naranjo’s depiction of a world without hope is technically impressive, if entirely dispiriting. Shot using long, unflinching takes, the lines that separate ordinary family life, the artificial world of the pageant, and the brutal urban warfare which erupts without warning, become blurred. Laura’s fate is synonymous with that of Baja California, a state racked with crime and corruption, where beauty, innocence and ambition are seized upon and corrupted. This powerful film doesn’t offer her any obvious way out, but Laura’s sheer resilience, and the film’s remorseless kinetic energy, make it hard to look away.
Milo Wakelin on 31st January 2012
Author of 106 reviews
A Mexican thriller about an aspiring beauty queen forced into the criminal underworld. Stephanie Sigman stars as Laura Guerrero, a poor Tijuana salesgirl who dreams of winning the local beauty pageant. However, Laura becomes embroiled in a nightmare world of organised crime when she witnesses the massacre of American anti-narcotics agents at a nightclub. Now beholden to ruthless drug runner Lido and his henchmen, Laura is forced to carry out a sequence of degrading and inhuman tasks as she fails to find protection within Mexico's rapidly disintegrating social system.
Length: 108 mins
Format: DVD Colour
Released: 20th February 2012
Cat No: MTD5680